Sunday, January 30, 2011

Refined by Fire

Many times I've had people comment at something I've said.  "I appreciate your transparency." 

I've always been a wear-my-emotions-on-my-sleeve kinda girl.  In my younger years, I was probably considered sassy, as I said what I was thinking.  Not that being sassy was always a good thing.

The point is that I have always let people know how I'm feeling.  And, as an adult, people appreciate that.  I feel like I have nothing to hide.  I want people to know me for who I am, not who I'm trying to be.  And so, the transparency.

Until recently.

Recently I have felt like I am unable to really tell people how I am feeling.  I feel like crackle glass.   You know, the glass that has a shape and appears perfect on the outside, but has cracks and crackles all through it.

Photo:  Google Images

I felt like I was barely holding it together after MotorMan's incident.  I thought I had dealt with it and that I was "fine."  But the realization was that I wasn't fine.  I wasn't holding it together.  I was cracking inside.  

In being transparent, I have always found solace in talking out my problems with someone else.  However, with this incident, I was unable to do that.  This wasn't like a car crash that I could talk to a friend about.  This was a plane crash.  A military plane crash.  And because it's the military, there are routine investigations going on.  And so, my lips have been sealed.  Which has been so hard.  I felt like I needed to rehash everything I knew.  All the places that my terror and disbelief and upset lurked.  

But I was unable to do that.

And so, while others' lives continued on, I was silently cracking inside.  
Trying to figure my way back to "fine" when I wasn't.  
And, feeling guilty when I realized that I still had "stuff" that the incident brought up that needed to be dealt with.
BIG, SCARY stuff.   

And then, finally, I cracked.  A big crying, snotty, sobbing, babbling, crying, crying, and some more crying type of crack.   Yes, I broke out The Ugly Cry.  I realized, that for me, it was ONCE AGAIN about surrender.  This time it was about surrendering my husband to the Lord.  His well-being, his care -- surrendering all of my husband to God.  And I had to wonder:  "Why is surrendering so hard for me?"  And there are many, many explainations for that.  
But the biggest one I realized?  
I realize that I feel weak when I surrender.
(Hello, transparency!)
And I don't like to feel weak.
Not. One. Bit.

But then, I realized:  God is STRONG when we are WEAK.  
And that He has us right where He wants us.
Let me say that again, because that was a biggie for me.

As I worked through the disbelief and anger and terror and the need to ONCE AGAIN surrender, I realized I needed more. 

And so I went for a walk on the beach.  By myself.
But not alone.
With God.

I cried out to Him just as Samuel did, "Speak to me Lord.  Your servant is listening."   (1 Samuel 3:9)
And what I heard was silence.  
So I walked some more.
And slowly, as my fear ebbed along with the waves, and my heart opened, I heard Him.
He said, "You are being refined by fire."
Whoa!  Refined.  By fire.  
Not forsaken.  Not forgotten.  Not alone.
Being refined.  Meaning:  He's working on me. 

"These trials will show that your faith is genuine. 
It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—
though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. 
So when your faith remains strong through many trials, 
it will bring you much praise and glory and honor 
on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."  
1 Peter 1:7

And so I have come to realize and accept several things:

1.  God's not finished with me yet.  I am, and always will be, a work in progress. 
2.  Sometimes there is so much ME in the way, that I'm tripping over myself.
3.  When I lose myself, I find that He is all I need.
4.  Sometimes I need to remember to just get out of God's way.
5.  He is God and I am not.
6.  I will get worn out on self effort. 
7.  He is all I need.
8.  He is all I need.
9.  He is all I need.
10.  He is all I want.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

And a peace that passes all understanding has been my constant comfort since the day of that walk.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."  John 14:27

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